no oxygen to the brain for 20mins : Hi, my... - ICUsteps

ICUsteps
4,018 members1,122 posts

no oxygen to the brain for 20mins

Areeba04
Areeba04

Hi, my boyfriend recently hung himself from a pole and was "dead" for about 15-20mins or maybe more. The parademics performed CPR until they found a pulse and was taken to hospital. He's been in intensive care since Thursday 12am and it is now Sunday. At first, the doctors told us he had a 20% chance of survival and even if he wakes up, he will have brain damage as they ran several CT scans and found the brain to have swelling which got worse (as expected) , the brain had no oxygen for about 20mins. He had inflammation in his lungs and he was put on dialysis but now he has been taken off dialysis and all his organs are better. He's still on the ventilator and is sedated, they've taken him off the medication that paralyse him. However, every time he's taken off sedation, he doesnt react to the tube down his throat which isnt a good sign as naturally someone would try to take the tube out of the throat. Can someone please provide answers for me as the family blames me and have told me i cant see him.

38 Replies
oldestnewest

That is all terribly sad & tragic - I hope your friend manages to pull through.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Sepsur

Thank you. They’ve got him on moderate sedation but his scan came back and it shows significantly brain damaged and he may not wake up. Did you have similar facts?

Sepsur
Sepsur
in reply to Areeba04

My family were told that I would probably have brain damage because of lack of oxygen. I know that my cognitive function is different from before I ended up in ICU. My circumstances were different to yours.

icusteps.org produce a pdf on brain injury.

icusteps.org/assets/files/b...

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Sepsur

How long were you in a induced coma for?

Sepsur
Sepsur
in reply to Areeba04

57 days

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Sepsur

That’s a long time, glad for your recovery

Sepsur
Sepsur
in reply to Areeba04

I was in ICU for 3months

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Sepsur

So it really does depend on the individual

Sepsur
Sepsur
in reply to Areeba04

It certainly does -

VickyC1982
VickyC1982
in reply to Sepsur

I was only on the ventilator for two weeks but had a brain scan due to the fact I was so hypoxic (lack of oxygen) on admission. I have recovered well but I wasn’t completely without oxygen for a long period like your boyfriend. I’m sorry that they blame you, I know my family were looking for someone to blame when I was ill xx

When people are very upset they often look for someone to blame. This must be dreadful for you. Look after yourself as best you can.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Stayloose

Thank you

How old is your boyfriend? Age can make a difference with brain damage and with the brain rewiring after. The swelling, as they said, is normal, and should go down. Did the CT scan show any damage to his spine that would cause him to not move or react to the ET tube? I was awake for about a week while intubated on the vent and didn't think it was too bad but, I was being pumped with pain meds too. Maybe his family would perhaps reconsider as there's always a chance, if he's in there, he may react to your voice or touch. This is so heartbreaking. Like others said, please make sure you take care of yourself.

He is 22 which is good as age is a contributing factor to his recovery. The CT scan came back and all the doctor had said was there’s “significantly damaged” (the brain). He has no other injuries are they are aware of, the spine is perfectly fine and his pupils are non-responsive but still are tiny (number 2).

garycom
garycom
in reply to Areeba04

I think I was only dead for a few minutes, but they thought I would have brain damage as well. I had about a 5% chance of survival and I was in my mid-fifties. I was in a medically induced coma for a month, in hospital for four months. I don’t think it is easy to determine what effect or how permanent brain damage will be. I don’t remember trying to pull out any of my tubes or lines. (I had suffered a series of heart attacks, cardiac arrest and general organ failure, in addition to sepsis and pneumonia.) That was in 2013. I’m still alive. I have health problems but I’m alive. They never expected me to survive. Don’t give up hope. He sounds like he is in generally good nick and he is young. Don’t feel pressured to let them “pull the plug.” Insist on keeping him alive. And talk to him as much as you can. Tell him how important it is to you that he stay alive and how much he means to you. I really think that the reason I survived was that I felt wanted by my friends. (Tiny pupils can be caused by the pain medication.) All the best wishes for both of you.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to garycom

Thank you so much. Did they try and take you off sedation everyday? Like would you not respond to it physically? When they try to take him off sedation, his heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels increase so they have to put him back on. But it’s moderate sedation now.

garycom
garycom
in reply to Areeba04

It's difficult to say because I was the patient so was not that aware of what was going on. I think I was told that they took me off and then put me back on a few times. In fact I'm sure that was the case, because of stuff I read on social media when I could operate my phone again (after two months). My heart rate was a major problem - I had to be on a lot of heart meds and when I read my medical notes later saw that I was on a lot of valium as well. Tell them to leave him on sedation for awhile - what's the rush? I'm really grateful for all the help I got - they took their time. Read up on brain damage and lack of oxygen if you can. There's a good Louis Theroux documentary on catch up tv about him visiting patients in a LA hospital (Mount Sinai?) and the doctors say one patient has permanent brain damage etc and even show the scan - they want to turn off the machinery - but the patient manages to survive against all odds. I don't want to give anyone false hope, but I know that my doctors still can't figure out why I survived or why I'm still here now - medical "science" can be very random.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to garycom

Thank you, I will sure do that. They just take him off sedation to see any reactions as I think that’s the procedure they always carry out.

garycom
garycom
in reply to Areeba04

Ok. Well, good luck! Hope everything turns out okay.

Sepsur
Sepsur
in reply to Areeba04

It took them 11 days to ween me off intubation and onto trachy

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Sepsur

for my boyfriend, it's only the 5th day so therefore, i still have very high hope. Thank you for sharing that with me. As he is 22 years old, i have no doubt he will pull through no matter how long it takes

I was 52 when I was in a medical coma in an ICU from septic shock. They told my family I would probably pull through physically but, they didn't know how I would be mentally. They also asked my brother and SIL if I had any spiritual beliefs and that if there was anyone they should call. My husband never knew my brother was asked that. Here I am almost 4 years later. You just never know. Also, as a medical professional, I saw people make it we thought for sure would not, and vice versa. Please keep us posted.

Thank you! I haven’t lost faith and I will not cause I know how strong he is. He had a temperature for about 2-3days but his temperature is now normal which is good. Everything else remains the same

I am so sorry for you and your boyfriend and his family. It is a very difficult and distressing time for all of you. Please look after yourself and don’t give up hope. We were told after a brain scan that my brother had brain bleeds in a medically induced coma and that there may be no recovery for him. He did go on to make a good recovery. This was a different situation to yours but I hope this helps you know you are not alone and you are in our thoughts. Best wishes.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Copse77

Thank you so much. How old is he & how long was he in a induced coma for if you don't mind me asking.

Copse77
Copse77
in reply to Areeba04

He was in his 40s and was unconscious for a month. It was exactly a month after he was put in a medically induced coma when he started to be able to respond. Take care.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Copse77

when they ran the CT scans, what were the results showing?

Hi, I am very sorry to hear your story. I think that the health care professionals will be following his neurological responses very closely starting with daily sedation reduction/holds. The pressure in his brain may also be monitored to ensure it is within normal limits. Tests will be done to assess brain activity once all sedation has been stopped. Only then will there be any idea of the patients condition. If you have the opportunity to be included in any of these discussions it would be helpful for you. Ask lots of questions, write them down so you remember. If not I would talk to your GP to get some personal support. Take good care.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to bmwr

Thank you, I think that’s what there trying to do. There trying to take him off sedation but his reaction to it is not good- heart rate increasing, blood pressure increasing and stress levels also increase. He’s also urinating a lot so I think the medication is not absorbing well. The scan did come back and showed “significantly brain damaged”. I think the full report comes back today so will keep you updated to see what it actually says.

bmwr
bmwr
in reply to Areeba04

Hi that is a very common response to high intra cranial pressure which can represent damage to the brain. The health care professionals will explain all of this to you. They may also have staff to help support family/friends at this very difficult time. You must all be in a terrible state of shock which doesn't help when you are trying to understand quite in-depth physiological information. Keep asking questions it's ok you don't understand.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to bmwr

Yeah that’s the thing, I’m trying to get as much information from the family as I can. Is this response normal at the early stages?

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to bmwr

I've literally just read up about the high intra cranial pressure, it states it is life-threatening situation

bmwr
bmwr
in reply to Areeba04

Hi one of the things that will be monitored closely is pressure and neurological responses. They are the experts and will be working closely to do all they can. You just try and get some rest and I wish you all well.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to bmwr

Okay, thanks for you help

I’m sorry this is a very difficult time for you. None of us can honestly give you “ the answer” as we are not gods... yet. If his brain is damaged is one thing if he’s brain dead , as in no activity, that’s something else all together. If he recovers he needs a mental health professional there as soon as he wakes up or the vicious cycle going on in his head will continue. If his vital organs have begun to work on their own again that’s a very good sign. Try to understand that whatever is going to happen to him, to anyone anywhere anything is out of your power. Just be a decent person to his family even if they aren’t being very good with you be the better person be patient- you are likely young and don’t have children yet but your boyfriend is somebody’s KID! As a parent I can tell you they are facing their worst imaginable nightmare. One tip I could give you is put on your charming hat and make a friend in the hospital that can check on his condition and report back to you. Or just continue to be loving and kind to his family. The mental health people will later explain to them how blame cannot be laid on you unless you were encouraging him publicly. Keep hope & faith close at hand and my best wishes are with you🤞🏼✌🏼

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to Sandyeggo

Thank you, he’s not brain dead or anything. The CT scan came back indicating significantly brain damaged

Hi, sorry to read about the tough situation that your facing with your boyfriend. I can understand what the family is going through as well as yourself.

Saying that, don't lose hope, being in ICU is an emotional rollercoaster as you see some improvements, then a backward step, positive small news but overall a cautious approach.

My father had a heart bypass then suffered pneumonia, sepsis, ards and a 2nd pneumonia in ICU, he was sedated, lungs not working, on dialysis, lack of response, dilusion...

He became critical at one point and was told he wouldnt make it, somehow he started pulling through having gone through Steroids, day by day there were small improvements, in such he was moved to our local hospital in Slough into the ICU and he caught pneumonia and sadly passed away 3 weeks later through peliative car.

Hopefully, your boyfriend is able to recover, and I pray he does.

However, be strong and just try and understand as much as you can from the doctors as to what there underlying concern is, why the concern is there, what solutions are they exploring, what are they expecting.

If its repiratory issues, then what options are there with the lungs, is the swelling of the brain reversible or can it go down? Etc.

As you start getting answers to these questions, you can, in a certain way accept and start preparing for possible eventualies, be that limited quality of life, death or in best case out of the hospital totally well.

You just need to be strong and accept it could go anyway, but that the doctors will do their utmost best to ensure they are able to bring him back to a good standard if its within their power.

My father was on ventilator of 2months. It doesnt help, so I can see why they would do sedation hold or even lower the ventialtor settings, they want him to take control of the breathing, but if there is any distress on other organs, or his BP goes high, stress level increases etc, they will make him comfortable again and provide the support. Its a balancing act to ensure stability.

I just hope your BF makes it through, Inshallah.

Areeba04
Areeba04
in reply to A_est_1984

Thank you, In Sha Allah he will pull through, I know he will. Thank you for sharing

You may also like...